Filling out government paperwork is not the most glamorous part of wedding planning, but it's a vital step to legalize your marriage.
There are 5 basic steps that you'll follow to make things official:
- Apply for a marriage license.
- Appear at the Clerk and Recorder office in person with ID to answer questions.
- Fill out the marriage license on your wedding day.
- Mail it in.
- Receive your marriage license in the mail.
You can save time by beginning the application process online. When you complete the application, write down your confirmation number, and the Clerk and Recorder office will be able to pull up your file when you go in.
Where to Go
To get your marriage license, both you and your fiancé must go in person to the license counter at the Office of the Clerk and Recorder, located on the first floor of the Webb Municipal Office Building, 201 West Colfax Avenue in Denver. They're open 8:00-4:30. Once you get your marriage license, it can be used anywhere in the state of Colorado.
Both Partners Will Answer Questions
- Provide the date you are getting married.
- Are you are getting married in Colorado?
- Provide the exact date and location of your divorce or spouse's death if you have been married before.
- Are you related by blood and if so, how?
- Provide the city and state where parents of both parties were born.
- Provide your social security number.
- Be able to answer if you are marrying in front of a judge, through an officiant or religious ceremony, or if you are marrying yourselves by signing the license at the marriage counter.
Each Partner Will Present One Form of ID
- U.S. state-issued driver's license or permit
- U.S. state-issued ID
- U.S. military ID
- Passport that is bilingual or multilingual and includes English or passport with a certified English language translation if non-English
- Not-acccepted: birth certificate
The marriage license fee is $30.00 cash, check, or credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover).
Fill it Out
Please read the Office of the Clerk and Recorder's instructions for filling out your marriage license correctly. These instructions are for anyone getting married with an officiant or by themselves.
Wedding Coordinator Tips
Often, couples forget to plan the details of how they'll deal with the marriage license on the wedding day. During the rehearsal or on the morning of the wedding, ask your officiant or day-of coordinator to hold onto the marriage license and a pen for you.
Typically, the easiest time to sign the license is right after the ceremony, while your officiant and wedding party are still nearby. Traditionally, couples ask their maid-of-honor and best man to sign as witnesses. Be sure to give your photographer a heads up if you'd like him/her to shoot you and your new spouse signing the license. Decide on a safe person to hand the marriage license off to, such as a parent, and ask if they'd be willing to mail it in for you, so you don't have to worry about it during your honeymoon.
Timing is Everything
Before the Wedding
Your marriage license will be usable as soon as you get it and is valid for only 35 days. I've seen super organized couples get their marriage license months before the wedding, only to realize it was void by their wedding day.
After the Wedding
It's free for your marriage license to be processed if it's mailed in within 63 days of your wedding. After that, there will be late fees. It takes 2-3 weeks to be processed, and then your marriage license will be mailed to you.
Changing Your Name
If you'd like to change your name, you should wait until your marriage license has been mailed to you. You should take it to the Social Security office first, then the Department of Motor Vehicles.
You can visit DenverGov.org to learn more marriage license information directly from the government.
Good luck making it official!